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Youngstown, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project activated a vacant space in Youngstown, converting it into a pocket park. Volunteers equipped the mini-park with benches, porch-type swings, a flagpole and picnic tables.

Cleveland, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The May Dugan Center, which serves low-income older adults in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood, hoped to create a welcoming gathering space for its Seniors on the Move program. To make the Center's outdoor area accessible, organizers outfitted the space with four ADA-compliant picnic tables. Additionally, the Center provided program participants with herb garden kits, allowing them to create windowsill gardens in their homes. Ultimately, organizers hope experience tending the kits will help SOTM participants hone their gardening skills, which they will use to plant flower beds and raised vegetable plots at the Center. This project is part of the nonprofit's larger mission to help older adults manage their financial, physical and emotional wellbeing, allowing them to safely age in place.

Mansfield, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Mansfield's Carrousel District was cut off from the city's newly created Imagination District. To demonstrate the value of connecting the two downtown areas, the Richland Community Development Corporation created a temporary linear park along West Third Street. Organizers hoped the long, narrow park would double as a community gathering pace and pedestrian pathway. The CDC installed benches, pergolas and hammocks and outfitted. Volunteers laid down artificial turf and painted murals onto the pavement. To attract people to the space, the pop-up included activities including self defense classes, interactive art exhibits, children's storytimes, food trucks and live music performances. The two-week activation was part of the CDC's efforts to advocate for a permanent linear park, which organizers say will bring vibrancy to the Carrousel District and reintegrate it into the fabric of Mansfield's downtown.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Columbus, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Inclusive civic engagement efforts

Description: Central Ohio is home to a large Bhutanese migrant population. This project set out to help women from this community access community resources -- including libraries, parks and public transportation. The Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio held a series of trainings for older Bhutanese women, providing transportation to participants.

Chillicothe, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: A planning study revealed a lack of accessibility throughout the Chillicothe Transit System, with some riders to sit on the ground while they wait for the bus. To address this, the City stepped in the make bus stops more accommodating for riders of all ages and abilities. First, project organizers identified areas of town with high numbers of older adult transit riders and passengers with mobility challenges. Then they installed benches -- as well as swing sets -- at several bus stops. They also added bus shelters at two stops and erected new signage at more than 60 others. In the future, project organizers plan to add a mural to the pavement at the local library's bus stop. Organizers say the improvements make waiting for the bus more comfortable, which may lead to increased ridership.


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